Manuscripts/Mixed Material [French Canadian Textile Worker]
I use glasses to read, but when it comes to see from a distance, my eyes are just as good as they were fifty years ago. Do I eat well? Mon cher ami, I can eat baked beans for supper and not feel the worse for it. I do quite a bit of work around the house. From spring until fall, I take care of my garden. My granddaughter thinks I work too much and often scolds me in a nice way; you hear her scold even now, but look at her smile. When I'm not working, I read and that brings me to a little nap in my rocking-chair. When you are going on 83, you too will like your petit somme 'in the afternoon. I am still considered the head of the family, loved and respected. With all that, who wouldn't be happy in his old days? As you see, we are able to speak English without a trace of accent, and that is natural; I have been in this country so long and the children were all born here.
After working for over sixty years, stomach ulcers began to bother me. I thought I wouldn't be able to go on any longer and spoke of leaving the mills, but they didn't want to let me go. The company in May and June, 1924, gave me a vacation with pay and told me that would put me on my feet. I did come back in July but things went from bad to worse with my stomach. In December, I was forced to retire and the Amoskeag, giving me a month's extra pay, had to let me quit my job as overseer of the Coolidge spinning mill. I went to the hospital where I spent quite a while and recovered my health.
I liked the people who were with me in the mills and I sympathized with them. I helped them as anybody else would have done in my place. Did I, when I was a boss, hide some who weren't quite sixteen, when inspectors visited he mills? I wouldn't have mentioned that if you hadn't put the question, but there is some truth in it, though I wonder who could have told you. You see,